C# Tutorial Create a Rock Paper and Scissors Game

Welcome to this exciting new tutorial. Today we will create a simple rock paper and scissor game in Visual Studio and C#. It’s going to be a very straight forward tutorial for you to follow.  We will be creating a simple AI – Artificial intelligence for this game which will play alongside the user and determine whether you won or lost a round.

Lesson objectives –

  1. Create simple GUI interface for rock, paper and scissors game
  2. Use picture boxes to load various images for the game
  3. Use button events
  4. Use timer event / start and stop timer event according to the requirement
  5. Calculating each player rounds
  6. Determine who won the game
  7. Input player Name
  8. Use that name to display on the form
  9. Use visual basic framework inside of C# – make the different programming language communicate with each other
  10. Show help screen form for user accessibility

Video Tutorial is here –

Download the images here for the rock paper and scissors game
Download Rock Paper Scissors Project on GitHub

First let’s create a new project in visual studio=

C# -> Windows Form Application

Name it rockpaperscissors

Click OK


First thing to do will be we need to change the title of the form from Form1 to Rock Paper Scissors and change the

size of the form from 300,300 to 890 , 350 . If you can’t see the properties window right click on the form and click on


Properties window

We will need that space to make sure our user can see the AI and the labels we will place on the form.

Thing we will need for this project

2 picture boxes

4 buttons

6 labels

1 timer object

Each of these components can be found in the tool box If you can’t see the tool box then go to view – > tool box or press CTRL+W+X this will bring up the tool box.

Let’s place the items on screen then change some properties.

Firstly place two of the picture boxes on screen as below

Change the size of the picture boxes to 130, 130 meaning 130 height x 130 width

Now add the 4 buttons to the screen

Change the text accordingly

• Button1 = Rock

• Button2 = Paper

• Button3 = Scissor

• Button4 = Help

Now we will add the labels on the screen. In visual studio it has a built in setting where we can change the font, colour and the size to make it look like the way we want to. Let’s add all the labels on the screen then we will change the settings accordingly.

Here are the 6 labels on the screen.

Now click on label1 and check the properties for the option called – Font – Click on the 3 dots

Click on the 3 dotted button on the right of the font option. […]

Change to the following setting – Font Microsoft Sans Serif – Style Bold – Size 14

Now do it for all of the labels on the screen

Here I have changed the text of each label. Let’s discuss the purpose of them all now.

Player name label will contain the name of the player once the program asks the player to enter their names in the box that we will sort out further down.

AI will only say AI because it doesn’t need a specific name.

Win/Lose is the label which will show who won the game either the player or the AI

Label that’s showing 5 on the text is going to be our count down timer. We will give the player 5 seconds to choose rock paper or scissor. Once the countdown goes to 0 we will reveal the answer.

Rounds will only show Rounds it don’t need to change at any time in the game

The label showing 1 will show how many rounds we have played so far. This game will have 3 rounds to player and then it will determine the final winner of the game.

Now lets load the images to the project.

Here are the images I prepared for this project. You can use your own if you want.

Now click on the picturebox1 and click on the little triangle on the top right corner of it.

Click on choose image

Click on Import to move the pictures inside the project

Select all and then click on OPEN

Now click on OK

As you can see the image is not set up properly because we can’t see the question mark. We need to change the setting on the image so we can see the whole image instead of this.

Click on picturebox1 and click on the little triangle again.

Change the size mode to Stretch Image, this will show the image according to the size of the picture.

For picture box 2 you won’t need to import them again you simply pick the question mark from the resources window


Click OK


Change the size to stretch image again and you are all done.

Now we will need to add the timer to this project.

Change the interval in the properties window to 1000. The timer event calculates time in the milliseconds so in order to get the right behaviours from the program we will need the change it to 1000 so it calculates in seconds not milliseconds.

Now we can get started on the programming on this project.

Change the Label 1 text to MOOICT or your name if you want to. For this example we will use MOOICT as the text for label 1.  Now debug the game and see if everything comes up as expected. Press F5 to debug the game.

Hooray it’s working. Feeling good aye, well you should.

So to sum it up for now we used the Visual Basic Reference to allow us to use that input form where in C# we would have to create it ourselves. Do anything that makes your life easier, even if that mean we work hard now to enjoy later.

Let’s get going with rest of the programming now.


First we are declaring a public integer called rounds which holds the value 3 inside it. Basically this will determine which round are we playing in this game.

Second integer we will be declaring is the timePerRound which will hold the number 6 inside it. Basically when the time starts it will reduce it by one straight away so we gave it a value of 6 to make start from 5.

3rd variable is a string ARRAY which holds multiple values inside it. I’m sure you are wondering why am I inputting the values multiple times. This is a small hack to make sure that the AI makes different choices. Since we will choose a Random number from 1 and 3 it will most likely make the same choice over and over so to overcome that system we need to add more values to the array and it will chose different one each time.

In this case we are stating string[] AIchoice = {“rock”, “paper”, “scissor ”, “rock”, “scissor”, “paper”};

0 1 2 3 4 5
Rock Paper Scissor Rock Scissor Paper

When we randomize this index it will show different ones instead of the same one multiple times.

Public int randomNumber will hold the random value inside it.

String command will be used as the AI final choice in the game

Random rnd = new Random() will generate the random number for us.

String playerChoice is where we make the choice between rock, paper and scissor.

Integer player wins is where we add how many rounds the player won.

Integer AIwins is where we declare how many rounds the AI won.


Add the line that says timer1.enabled = true. The timer added before we want to start it when we have entered our name into the game.

We are also setting up the playerChoice as none is beginning of the game.

Go back to the design view of the game and double click on the timer1 icon

Double click on this

Visual studio will automatically create this event for the timer. Everything we want the time to do will be included

inside this event.

Here is the final timer 1 tick function

The comments are self-explanatory.

We haven’t created the checkGame or the decisionEngine function yet. Make sure you enter the code above exactly as they are.

Lets create the checkGame() function now

As you can see this function deals with the player and AI choice. Since the rule of the game is very simple we can use

if and else if statements to ensure who won the game.

We are using multiple conditions in the if statements. In a normal is statement you have only 1 condition for example

If (doorOpen == true )


//go through the door




//open the door etc



In this case we are using multiple values because this game doesn’t just depend on the player choice it also depends

on the AI choice so we need to determine how the player or the AI will win the game.


if (playerChoice == “rock” command == “paper” )


MessageBox .Show( “AI Wins” );





If the player chose rock and (&&) AI chose paper

Message box will show AI Wins

Add one to the AIwins variable

Deduct one from the rounds variable

Run the nextRound()function.

When the AI wins the game we are invoking the command AIwins++ this means that each time the AI wins a round over the player we add 1 to its winning list. So if it won 1 round and then another we will add 1 to the existing 1 which will be 2. Also we will deduct 1 from the rounds which means they can only play for 3 rounds each time. We also needed to have a default operation because if they player doesn’t make a choice in this game then we need to feedback to the player to make a choice.

else if (playerChoice == “none” )


MessageBox .Show(label1.Text + ” Make a choice” );



If the player didn’t make a choice then the default choice will be none Once the program sees none it will just call the players name and ask them to make a choice to play the game.

Right under the checkGame function make the decision engine function


This function only runs when we have played the all 3 rounds in the game. So if the player won more rounds then AI we will show the player has won If that isn’t true then the only logical choice is the I won Simple and straight to the point.

Now let’s create the next round function


This function will reset the player choice to none, reset the player/AI image to question mark and start the timer again.

Note – double the code so far in order to move to the next part.

Now let’s add events to the buttons Rock paper and scissor

Double click on the rock button

We are giving the player choice to rock and changing the image to the picture of rock.

Now double click on the paper button.

We are changing the player choice to paper and also changing the image to paper from the resources.

Now double click on the button scissor

Add the highlighted code inside the function. It’s the same as before only with the new scissors

Now then we can test the program to see if its running

Click on Debug -> start debugging or press F5.

The game seems to be working so far. However we need to link the rounds labels to the rounds integer and we need to add something for the help screen.

Rounds text – We need to show the rounds as they are being played. So we will add one more line to the timer1tick event.

Inside the timer1 tick function add the following

As you can see our rounds label is called label6 now this labels will show how many rounds we have left once the timer starts. So each time the timer starts it will show the number of rounds left to play. Try it out.

Sorted now for the Help button.

Now its important as software developers we make sure we know how to support our end user now I’m sure you have seen this image on the internet

Source – http://imgur.com/gallery/jlUAnFb

Although it’s a joke we should always think how we can make the end user understand the software and use it efficiently without any errors.

This is why it’s always a good idea to create Help Window.

Now lets once again right click on the rockpaperscissors inside the solution explorer

Add -> Windows Form

Name it helpScreen

Click OK.


Now we can add any information which the user will find useful and will aid them in using this application / game.

Drag and drop a text box in this form

Drag and drop a text box to the new help form.

Click on that small triangle on the right corner and select multi line.

Add the following sentences in the text box

Welcome to the rock paper and scissor game create by (your name here)

Enter your name in the beginning

Select the option for rock, paper or scissor

The countdown goes from 5 to 1

Once its completed the AI will show its choice to you

Rules of the game are

Rock beats scissor

Paper covers rock

Scissor cuts paper

You have 3 rounds of game play

Good Luck and Enjoy

Once you have entered the text inside the text box now look into the properties window for a option called enabled. Change it false. If it’s set to true then the user can change the text or even delete them. Since its set to false it will be disabled they will only be able to read the whole text not edit it in any way.

Now let’s do the following code for the help screen.

Double click on the help button

Since we called the windows form helpScreen its classified as its own class so we can simply call the helpScreen directly. We are giving the helpScreen class a new instance of help and then we are linking it.

Since help is the new instance of the helpScreen class now we can access all of its properties through the code.

We are now able to call the help.Show() function and once this runs it will display the help form on screen.

Test it out.

Well done following this tutorial thus far. Now you can add your own features to it. Good luck.




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